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Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
03/08/2015
Scripture: Mark 15:21-41; Luke 23:32-34; 2 Corinthi...
Track 1 of in the series
Running time: 53 minutes, 28 seconds.
There is nothing more central to Christianity than what happened on Good Friday. Without this day, Easter would never have come. In a sense, it is a crucial day for Christians. The word crucial comes from the Latin word meaning cross. Today we hear preachers preach and teachers teach that Jesus died for our sins. Christians piously nod their heads yes as well we all should. But do you really know what it all means What does it mean to say that Jesus died for my sins Why was it necessary And which sin in particular And how can it really make any difference in the world today



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Death On A Friday Afternoon
The First Word From The Cross: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

There is nothing more central to Christianity than what happened on Good Friday. Without this day, Easter would never have come. In a sense, it is a crucial day for Christians. The word “crucial” comes from the Latin word meaning “cross”. Today we hear preachers preach and teachers teach that Jesus died for our sins. Christians piously nod their heads yes as well we all should. But do you really know what it all means? What does it mean to say that Jesus died for my sins? Why was it necessary? And which sin in particular? And how can it really make any difference in the world today?

Our study will be about standing at the foot of the cross. While Jesus hung there suffering and dying for our sins, there were all sorts of things going on. There were all types of people watching, listening, hoping and hating. Some were having fun while others were wishing the whole thing didn’t happen.

Mark 15:21-41 (NIV) A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!" In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah." One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!" Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

From what we just read, who were some of the people at the foot of the cross? According to Mark, what feelings, emotions, what questions were on the hearts of those standing before the cross?

The seven last words of Jesus on the cross are not single words, but seven statements of quite different sorts. They come from the four Gospels in the New Testament. The truth is that Good Friday forms the spiritual architecture of Christian existence. And the seven last words embody the truth of Good Friday.

The seven last words are these:

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”
“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“I thirst”
“It is finished”
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

It is strange that we call this day good. As we watched the movie Passions, what joy or good did you see from the senseless beating and torture Jesus went through. How many of you felt really great seeing all the blood flying and the flesh being torn off? We call it Good Friday but it was a day when Jesus died. That day was a day when God turned his face away from him because he was so disgusting…he looked like us, he had our sins upon himself.

Don’t hurry past the crucifixion. Because we can never find the joy of Easter without first feeling deep down the pain Jesus went through on Friday.

The First Word

Luke 23:32-34 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Think about this a minute. For whom is Jesus praying? Think about all the people who heard this statement. How do you think they reacted? What was the cross all about? Why did Jesus really have to die and how was his death supposed to affect us? What is the correct reaction to Jesus death for us?

2 Cor. 5:18-21 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What does it mean when we reconcile something? Who in your family balances the check book? Has your check book been so messed up that you needed someone else to help you reconcile your transactions? How is this picture like the picture of Jesus on the cross?

Someone explain to me atonement. Think of it as "at-one-ment". What was separated is now at one. But we have to realize that after such a long separation there can be no easy reunion. Reconciliation must do justice to what went wrong. Sins are not just swept under the rug. He doesn’t count our sins against us because something has been done with them. Forgiveness is not cheap Forgiveness costs. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness. The accountant doesn’t wink at the mistake and then poof; it is gone from the books. The wrong is to be fixed.

Someone describe for me Grace? What would the definition of Cheap Grace be?

Cheap grace devalues sin and forgiveness. Cheap grace is easy grace. Cheap grace does not reckon what went wrong; it requires no costly love. There is a cost for every sin. When a sin is committed, even if the sin is forgiven, there still is a cost.

Romans 5:1-2; 6; 9-11 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!1 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

I want to go back to this idea of cheap grace. From what we just read in Romans, what is the difference between God’s grace and cheap grace? God’s grace cost a very high price…Jesus death and because of that, our death from sin. Cheap grace is when nothing happens. The Christian thinks he or she is covered without fixing the problem, without paying a price of dying to sin…take on holiness. Too many Christians think they are Christians and yet make no effort to change their lives, to allow the Holy Spirit to work within them.

Hebrews 10: 26-29 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Go back and look at Genesis 3 when Adams and Eve ate from the Tree of Good and Evil. What good came from that act? No good came from it for that is why God forbid Adam and Eve from eating it. The scriptures in Genesis 3 are rewritten everyday in our own lives. Each of us has been there, godlike, deciding that we would determine what is good for us and what is evil. The Christian who lives and thinks that way lives in Cheap Grace.

God’s grace is not cheap; it cost God his son and it hurt him deeply. He gave us back our lives again and forgave us all the evil we did in the past. Even though salvation is given to us freely as a gift, it is not cheap. There is a price, changes are to be made, the wrong in our lives will be reconciled and new accounting practices are expected.

Genesis 3:4-6 You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Can you see the scene in slow motion? As Eve is reaching for the fruit, you can hear Jesus say while they are nailing him to the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Man did not know what he was doing when he reached for the right to name good and evil. The first Adams destroyed what God originally intended. The second Adam restored God’s intent and paid the price so you and I could have it. Today we do have it.

We have at-one-ment. God and I are at one again, perfectly at one. He did it through the cross. God has taken care of what we have done. And now we know, or begin to know why this awful, awe-filled Friday is called good.